Installing RHEL 8.1 on Dell R710/R610 with H700 Raid Controller

sys_r710.png

Introduction

A large number of storage controller drivers have been removed from RHEL 8.x, which means that the Dell R710/R610 with the H700 RAID controller, no longer supports RHEL 8.x natively. While this fact is unfortunate for a lot of hobbyists with their own homelabs, you can still install RHEL 8.x on these machines with the use of a driver update disk (DUD).

Setup

Using the link below, navigate and download the deprecated drivers.

https://elrepo.org/linux/dud/el8/x86_64

For Dell the R710/R10, you are specifically looking for the megaraid_sas drivers. See output below from R610.

# dmesg | grep raid
[ 1.402339] megaraid_sas 0000:03:00.0: FW now in Ready state
[ 1.402346] megaraid_sas 0000:03:00.0: 64 bit DMA mask and 32 bit consistent mask
[ 1.402571] megaraid_sas 0000:03:00.0: irq 34 for MSI/MSI-X
[ 1.402593] megaraid_sas 0000:03:00.0: firmware supports msix : (0)

The specific DUD iso that you need for RHEL 8.1 is shown below.

https://elrepo.org/linux/dud/el8/x86_64/dd-megaraid_sas-07.707.51.00-1.el8_1.elrepo.iso

Installation

The install process is as follows.

  1. Download RHEL 8.x media and burn to dvd or usb drive
  2. Download deprecated drivers in iso format and burn to usb drive
  3. Boot with both RHEL 8.x media and DUD mounted
  4. The installer should detect the DUD iso and install the proper drivers

Special Note: In my testing (3 systems) the DUD was not automatically detected by Anaconda.  I suggest using the method below.

 

Troubleshooting

When you burn your DUD a usb stick, that the usb drive’s volume label is OEMDRV. This was the default when I burned the iso. The RHEL installer (anaconda) will look for this label on any and all available disks and should automatically recognize the DUD and mount the usb drive.

However, if this does not occur during the install process, and the installer still does not see your disks, you may need to reboot and this time interrupt the installer with the TAB key and append the following to your boot options.

inst.dd=/dev/sdb1

On my system, the DUD was /dev/sdb1 and the RHEL 8.1 install media was /dev/sda.

Resources:

https://access.redhat.com/discussions/3722151

https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/8/html-single/performing_an_advanced_rhel_installation/index#updating-drivers-during-installation_installing-rhel-as-an-experienced-user

https://elrepo.org/linux/dud/el8/x86_64

https://serverfault.com/questions/908209/how-to-add-a-dud-driver-to-centos-rhel-7-media-without-network

 

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